UWB Briefs - Page 2
March 15, 2007
2005 UWB Briefs
Earlier this week, three chip-making companies that are part of the WiMedia Alliance said they're already working on interoperability tests. Alereon, Staccato Communications and Wisair have all been working with TDK Test Services of pre-production chips to make sure they work under all the mandatory data-rates set forth by the
Ultrawideband used for broadband? Not just broadband, but how about broadband over gas pipe lines? That's the word from a story on News.com that says Nethercomm of San Diego is using UWB to create a technology to provide high-speed IP services over natural-gas pipes. Some call it outrageous, others think it could save lots of money for broadband providers.
Testing equipment provider Tektronix says its new oscilloscope software applications is for the Tektronics TDS6000C is for "validating all types of UWB devices." Users of the TDS6000C can get the software, dubbed TDSUWB, for free. It is also available with extensions for the WiMedia Alliance's UWB Common radio Platform (TDWUWB+WiMedia). The USB-IF, which is working with WiMedia, hopes the new oscilloscope software will speed up development of Certified Wireless USB products based on the WiMedia platform.
Icron Technologies Corporation is the latest company to join the UWB Forum as a contributing member. They make the ExtremeUSB technology that works with USB 2.0 and 1.1, using the ports to make any product a wireless product. The UWB Forum, lead by Freescale Semiconductor, wants to make a USB products wireless but doesn't support the Certified Wireless USB being pushed by the other UWB camp, the WiMedia Alliance. Icron and UWB Forum plan to provide wireless that plugs into USB ports without requiring any extra drivers.
Silicon designer FOCUS Enhancements says it has taken delivery of its first chips for 880 Mbps ultrawideband, the first chip in the two-part Talaria solution. The second chip should be ready for delivery in December, with evaluation kits for OEMs just before the end of 2005. Talaria is compatible with WiMedia MB-OFDM, but uses FOCUS' DS-OFDM modulation techniques. User-selectable speeds include 110, 440, 660 and 880 Mbps.
Stonestreet One says it is now shipping (in alpha stage) UWB solutions for use in Windows XP, called UltraSuite. This suite of drivers supports Wireless USB (HWA and DWA) and WiNet for Windows Desktop and Mobility. Eventually, it will be available for other operating systems, and later will have support for StoneStreet's WiCenter user interface product for managing WLANs.
Fujitsu and Staccato Communications will be jointly marketing Staccato's Ripcord UWB System-in-Package products, which will be Wireless USB certified. Fujitsu can sell the entire product line, from the chips to the SDK, and it will also license the Staccato Media Access Controller (MAC) for use in other Wireless USB products, such as the Fujitsu products found in many digital cameras.
The Synopsys DesignWare WiUSB device controller core for Certified Wireless USB won't be out until 2006, but early adopters are already trying it out. Interoperability testing is underway with Realtek Semiconductor's single-chip WiMedia UWB PHY and Alereon's WiMedia PHY, both of which should be available before the end of this year. (Alereon's PHY is also part of testing Microsoft is doing with Synopsys on its own Wireless USB driver.) DesignWare includes a USB Platform Adaptation Layer and the WiMedia UWB MAC layer.
Wisair showed off an ultrawideband "detect and avoid" technology at the CEPT Electronic Communications Committee meeting in Copenhagen this week that would let UWB coexist with WiMax and 3G/4G technologies without interfering. It requires that UWB devices use narrowband signal detection to find other networks in the 3.14.2 GHz frequency range, both before and during UWB use. If there is another network running in that band, the UWB emission level is reduced. Wisair has a white paper available on the topic.
Last week, silex technology of
WiMedia member Alereon has introduced its 4400-EVB UWB physical layer evaluation board, designed to make it faster for developers using the Peripheral Development Kit for Certified Wireless USB from Intel. The 4400-EVB works at speeds up to 480Mbps.
Research firm West Technology Research Solutions says that when Freescale Semiconductor ships its DS-UWB chips in the third quarter of this year, it will spur "significant economic growth" in ultrawideband circles. They expect DS-UWB components to have a market worth $482 million by 2010, with annual shipments in consumer electronics alone hitting around 38 million units by 2009. The company report looks at not only UWB but also Bluetooth and 802.11 technologies, including the high-speed 802.11n.
Over on the WiMedia side of UWB, Wisair has introduced a UWB Physical Layer (PHY) module to speed up development when used with Intel's Peripheral Development Kit (PDK) for Certified Wireless USB. Together, they'll ensure interoperability between consumer electronics and PC peripherals using ultrawideband. Wisair also announced this week a reference design to put UWB in a dongle that would plug into any Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 port.
Pulse~LINK plans to show its CWAVE UWB at the DisplaySearch HDTV conference next week. The company is working with Analog Devices to show real-time high-definition video over wireless using the JPEG2000 standard running on Analog's ADV202 chip versus MPEG. Analog says the JPEG2000 doesn't degrade source HDTV signals like MPEG, and that CWAVE running at 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) is more than enough to handle it.